Mr Tony Christie

Posted: December 13, 2011 in Uncategorized

TONY Christie showed a Villa Marina audience the way to Amarillo on Friday 18th November on a tour celebrating 50 accomplished years in music.

Our Tony Christie barnburner started, appropriately enough, with a young Manx talent. There’s nothing more absorbing than an enchanting local warm-up act.

Joey Wylde began with his own songs, bringing them to life on his guitar with a brew of tuneful energy and his strapping stage presence.

Maintaining an unwinding ease to his performance, Joey played a set that was soothing, intelligently built and eclectic. He set the ambiance by singing songs from his own back catalogue and audience thrillers like ‘Fame’ and ‘Brown Eyed Girl’.

I thought that the 15-minute interval before Tony Christie arrived on stage was worryingly deflating. Many audience members appeared to lose zest after enjoying a steadily livening preparation. I was proven wrong as soon as the clean-cut, flawlessly voiced, electric entertainer took to the stage.

There was a loud applause, followed by a gush of excitement and whooping as Tony joined his band of the saxophone, trumpet, acoustic, electric and bass guitar players, drummer, his piano and keyboard magician and vocalists.

Dancing around the stage like a well-oiled modern dancer, Tony’s ‘Made in Sheffield’ Elvis inspired hip movements were granted the thumbs up my accompanying Grandmother.

His showmanship was perfection itself, feel-good entertainment that encouraged a preconceived audience involvement. Tony is a hands-on professional entertainer, well versed in all music styles and eras.

His new musical direction was exciting and skillful. Working with tracks from his latest album ‘Now’s the Time’, Tony wowed the Manx audience with brilliant new editions of old Motown, Country and Blues tracks from the greats like Smokey Robinson and Jerry Jeff Walker.

The experience that Tony brings to the stage is invaluable, the new influences he now works with would surprise and stun many a young audience into submission.

After a delightful set, Tony saved the most popular for last with ‘Is This the Way to Amarillo’. After less than a millisecond, a stampede of walk-to-the-dance-floor dancers joined him by the stage for a little arm-waving, side-to-side swaying and say-cheese smiles.

Meeting him with my star-struck Grandmother afterwards, he presented me with a final quote before his red-eye flight to Birmingham the following morning, he said; “I thoroughly enjoyed tonight! It was great to be back on the Isle of Man, it’s been 6 years! It won’t be that long again.”

The show was followed by music from DJs Chris Williams and Dave Cretney until 2am.

For me, the night was unexpectedly enjoyable, I hope to see him on the Island again soon.

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